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November 22, 2013

by , nofilmschool.com

Finner Knows Best - Simple Focus Pulling Trick

If you’ve ever worked the first assistant camera position, or you pull your own focus, one of the most difficult parts of the job is making sure you’re pulling in sync with the movement of the actors. Often there is quite a bit of timing involved, especially with dolly moves. To do the job properly, you almost have to split your mind in two and watch the talent as you’re watching the marks on the follow focus, but a very simple trick can make that a little easier to accomplish.

Thanks to Finner Knows Best for the video, and to Evan Luzi at The Black and Blue for the find:

 

If you already do this or feel like it should be obvious, you can move along, but to be honest it never occurred to me to try this over the many projects that I’ve been a 1st. While it is much easier to do with a follow focus, I’m sure if you’re pulling right from the lens there are ways to give you something tactile to hit with your finger, like maybe a few thick pieces of tape. With more complicated moves that have three, four, and five sets of marks, it might be a little more difficult to use the finger trick, but I think whatever can help make your job easier is a welcome addition to anyone’s toolkit.

What do some of you do to accomplish the same thing? Do you have any other tricks that might be useful for pulling focus and keeping an eye on the talent?  Please share your tips below and share them with the class!

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